Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health his plans to provide nursing home support to persons under the age of 65 years where the financial burden as presently required under the fair deal scheme will not leave spouses and children in dire financial need; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Reply from Minister of State Kathleen Lynch: As the Deputy is aware, the Nursing Homes Support Scheme is currently being reviewed. The terms of reference for the review are:
- Taking account of Government policy, demographic trends and the fiscal situation,
- To examine the on-going sustainability of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme,
- To examine the overall cost of long term residential care in public and private nursing homes and the effectiveness of the current methods of negotiating/setting prices,
- Having regard to 1 and 2 above, to consider the balance of funding between long-term residential care and community based services,
- To consider the extension of the scheme to community based services and to other sectors (Disability and Mental Health), and
- To make recommendations for the future operation and management of the Scheme.
It is expected that the review will be completed by Q2 2014. As the Scheme is statutory based, the implementation of any recommendations arising from the review may require amendments to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act, 2009.